naomi-hebert-188183.jpgWouldn’t it be great to make your small pad look spacious and open? Want to learn some common sense tips and tricks to create versatile areas in your home to maximize the square footage available to you? Come along with me as we explore some simple, yet straightforward ideas to make your home feel more contemporary and fun.

10 Tips to Decorating on a Tight Budget:

1)      Consider using furniture to divide rooms and add more intimate seating. Rather than having the sofa crammed tight against the wall, float it out into the room and create a new sitting area.

2)      Purchase a room divider. Room dividers come in a wide range of sizes, colors and materials. Some have funky patterns, and others are statement pieces.

3)      Add some fun curtains to cover unsightly things on your walls or to hide a door-less cluttered closet. Curtains can add drama to any room, and are not too spendy.  Consider sifting through the bargain bins at your local thrift store to find the perfect wall hanging that says this is your place.

4)      Purchase a buffet or hutch. Thrift stores are fantastic places to find retro or one of a kind accent pieces. Don’t overlook these items in a thrift store even if they are a bit banged up. You can always paint or stain them, add stencils or otherwise cover up any previous blemishes. Dents and scrapes are what make these items super unique and assure you that you have scored something your friends will wish they had found first. A buffet or hutch is a great place to hide lots of smaller items. Think of it as added closet space that you can take with you when you move to your next place.  

5)      Paint an accent wall (with your landlord’s approval). A wall that is painted a different color than the other walls in the room adds an elegant touch and can make the room appear larger. It also creates mystery and pizzazz to any room.

6)      Employ furniture that can serve double-duty. Have a foldable dining table that converts into a working desk, or consider getting a coffee table that switches into a dining room table. Get a Murphy bed that hides in your wall by day (allowing for more daytime useable floor space) and then changes into your bedroom by night.

7)      Hang funky three-dimensional art on your walls. Hang hats, scarves, bottles, cups, etc. or anything that is meaningful to you to add character and depth to a room. Sometimes the “art” is something that you can wear or use on a regular basis (as a result the wall becomes de facto storage space).

8)      Give yourself permission to release items that no longer serve you. Donate or sell unused (or extra) furniture or household items that you’ve been hanging on to, just in case you might want to use them sometime. If you are working around clutter and bulky items, they are not your friends: they are an annoyance creating stress in your life. Send ‘em packin’!

9)      Add some cool accent rugs. Rugs can help to separate areas of your home. They can also provide a focal point to a seating area or segregate the dining area from the living area. Rugs can also be handy to cover unsightly stains or serve as a shoe mat to hold footwear that needs somewhere to dry after being outdoors.

10)   Create a collection point for keys, sunglasses, change, phone chargers, etc. By having a home for these small items, it brings calm and organization to your home, rather than having these things lying about randomly. Plus, it makes it much easier to find these things if they are always in the same location!

Take a peek at this YouTube video for more ideas on hazing up your home by making a few minor changes. Get creative and enjoy! 

Moving? 10 Tips to Make Your Move a Snap!

If it’s time for you to move soon, you’re probably starting to get that sick feeling in your stomach, starting to panic about how you will get it all done and overall dreading the move. On the bright side, you are probably looking forward to your new home and jazzin’ it up to reflect your cool stylings, right?

Fun Times: The Community Laundry Room

I can hear you groaning in agony at the painful words: Apartment Laundry Room!!! I hear ya. First of all, can I have a show of hands of how many of you like to do laundry under any circumstances? Come on, don’t be bashful. I know there are one or two of you out there! Now, and this is getting fun (for me, anyway) can I get an “Amen!” from you on how much you love, love, love doing your laundry in the community laundry room in your apartment building?

Roommate Wars...Why Can't We All Just Get Along

Have you had enough of your roommate already? What happened to the reasonable person you selected as a roommate? Why have they been replaced by an insane, inconsiderate psycho? Don’t people have any respect for others anymore? Didn’t their mother raise them right? What is wrong with these people????? As you probably know, having a roommate can be exceptionally challenging. Let’s be reasonable. Why does this sound like common sense, but it is so difficult to honor? I don’t think anyone sets out to intentionally irritate their roommate, but I do believe the relationship can devolve to the point that angering your roommate can become sport. Roommates see you at your best and worst and know many of your secrets. They know what sets you off and how they can grind on you to the point you snap. But, you also know their sweet spot, too.